My home is on fire. The outlook is dire.
The flames, over time, just keep getting higher.
I don’t think I care. I’m here in my chair;
The fire is such a long way over there.
I’m glued to the worlds I see on my TV.
There’s plenty of things to keep me busy.
What do I know about putting out fire?
I haven’t the know-how, nor yet the desire.
My house is enormous, I think there is time.
I sit and wait inside.
Flames slowly climb.
I’ll argue instead over levels to set
For how high it’s safe to let the flames get.
Common-sense says, once flames reach the roof
The house will be doomed.
But I want the proof.
Do I pretend fire doesn’t exist?
It’s a temptation that’s hard to resist.
Maybe I’ll joke that at least I’ll be warm
When once flames reach me from this fire storm.
As for my cousins who live in the room
That’s nearest the fire, bemoaning their doom?
Don’t show their sad faces on my TV.
I don’t want to know.
I don’t want to see.
Their chance of survival starts to seem small.
They try to escape.
So, I build a wall
And hire big men with lots of hard clout
To guard my nice room and keep people out.
I don’t want to see; I don’t want to look.
I curl in my chair and read a good book.
My children peep out and ask, “What have you done?”
But what can I do? I am only one.
Those memes on the web inform my world view
“Think of yourself now. Take care of you.”
The voice on the telly tells me not to think,
Buy a new phone.
Pour a big drink.
Though I know every new thing that I buy
Pours fuel on the fire, makes tinder more dry.
Will it seem worth it? This boom and this bust?
When all we have built up is ashes and dust?
It can’t be too late! Not even to try?
We all must do something.
Or we die.